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Changes in requirements of BRC\IOP basic hygiene in issue 5

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 11:44 AM

 what is  the new requirements of BRC \ IOP   issue 5  (BASIC HYGIENE ONLY )?


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Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:14 PM

Our gap analysis was based on the HIGH hygiene, but all of the information quoted below will also apply to LOW hygiene.


Regarding changes in the requirements from issue 4 to 5, I do not know, but I guesstimate (if you are allowed to guesstimate on such things) they are almost nothing.  Apart form some moving around and tidying up of wording as happened with the HIGH hygiene requirements. You may also find the terms "root cause analysis" and "risk assessment" used frequently also.


What’s new in Issue 5?

New grading structure

o Now possible to get an “AA” grade with 5 or fewer minor nonconformities. “A” grade will be awarded for 6-10 minor nonconformities
o It is now also possible to achieve a “+” for example “AA+” if the audit is unannounced (see below)

Optional unannounced audits

In line with the BRC Food Standard issue 7 and the trend towards unannounced audits by the food industry in general there is now provision for a voluntary unannounced audit. Sites can opt for a full unannounced audit (option 1) covering both Good Manufacturing Practices and the system, documentation and records. Or a two part audit (option 2) which would be unannounced audit covering Good Manufacturing Practices and announced audit of the system, documentation and records.

In our opinion these new initiatives help to develop an “always on” food safety culture and are an incentive for continuous improvement. Achieving an “Announced Grade AA” rather than an “Unannounced Grade B+” may well be perceived as a better result by customers and so a target of Announced AA would be a wise first target.

BRC Global Markets Program

The BRC GMP is a starter set of requirements designed for very small and developing sites for which the full standard may not be appropriate. The program enables these businesses to get on the ladder where they can be audited and receive recognition of attainment of compliance at two levels basic or intermediate level.

Some may see this is a cop out (allowing lower level certification), but it faces up to the reality that some businesses are happily trading without problems, but may struggle to implement the full blown standard in a short time. Having them in the game can at least start the cycle of development and improvement.

Voluntary Modules

This is a bit of a mystery at present (to me anyhow). At a guess additional modules could be based on quality, health and safety, environmental, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, ethical trading etc. A good idea in principal if (and it’s a big IF) it could reduce the requirement for certification to other standards and / or perhaps customer audits.

Fields of Audit

This extends the types of products and processes that the standard is applicable to beyond the original plastic, paper, wood, metal and glass food packaging manufacturing to components that are used in healthcare, cosmetic and other non-food, but hygiene sensitive products. In the basic hygiene requirements non-food items such as clothing, textiles, home-ware, household products, DIY products and automotive products are included.

The standard is free to download!

Sites need a genuine copy of the standard, but it can be the free electronic version.


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